Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says that Russia's plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to his country is underway.
Lukashenko was speaking at a news conference on Thursday.
He said that a certain number of nuclear warheads have already been moved, and the transfer will be completed by the end of the year, if not sooner.
Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus does not plan to launch any attacks with the nuclear weapons, but in the event of aggression against it, "the response will be instantaneous."
Russia and Belarus are stepping up pressure on Western countries by showcasing their nuclear capabilities ahead of the NATO summit, scheduled to start on July 11.
Regarding Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Russian private military firm Wagner Group, Lukashenko revealed that he is back in Russia.
Last month, Prigozhin and his fighters staged a mutiny against the Kremlin. Lukashenko had brokered a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop Prigozhin and his mercenaries from advancing toward Moscow.
Lukashenko said he spoke with Prigozhin over the phone on Wednesday, during which he was assured of the mercenary leader's commitment to working for Russia and fulfilling his obligations until the end.
Lukashenko expressed the view that Putin would not take retaliatory measures against Prigozhin.